Hello my dear readers – all five of you.
I recently started a new job in exciting, eclectic San Francisco, which included me moving from lovely, sensible little Greater Sacramento into a studio apartment with tons of character in the most adorable little suburb of SF ever. Seriously.
It’s pretty safe to say that I finally finished unpacking today, about a month after my 8th move in 5 years. Commenting on one of my many complaints-about-moving Facebook statuses, a dear friend told me I should just stop unpacking. As much as I would like to take this advice and make my life a lot easier, I genuinely hate living surrounded by boxes. I need to feel like I belong in my home, even if I’m only going to be there for 2.5 months, as was the case with my previous place. I similarly hate living out of a suitcase, which is why for more than a 2-night stay in a hotel, I will unpack my suitcase into the dresser drawers and the closet. But that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, I finally broke down and bought another bookshelf on which to put my books (since my original bookshelf is now pantry space) and also put up my pegboard on which I hang all of my pretty accessories. Yes, I have a pegboard!
My philosophy happens to be that I am a blank canvas which I get to adorn differently every day, so I love to have cool accessories, such as jewelry, head bands, hats, scarves, etc. You could probably call it a hobby.
So my home is all but settled again, and with it, my soul. I am loving my new job, my new town, my new coworkers, my whole new style of life.
I could be upset that I’m not doing what I set out to do when I started college as a physics major with high hopes to be an astrophysicist one day. This actually used to be my biggest fear, that I wouldn’t wind up doing what I’d set out to do. My mind and heart have had a challenge dealing with this: I’m currently in a situation which used to be a huge fear, and somehow I’m completely alright with it.
“A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose,” reads my very favorite bumper sticker. I would have to say that this is the biggest, most important lesson I have learned in my 30 years on this little blue dot of a planet.
I learned it when I left the Christian religion. I learned it when I went to Europe and was told by the tour guide to not put expectations on my trip, to just enjoy whatever happens, because nothing is ever exactly as you expect it to be. I learned it in physics when I learned about major scientific discoveries that turned people’s worlds upside down.
Most recently, I’ve learned it as I’ve transitioned from grad school to the working world: It’s a big world out there, with plenty of satisfying, interesting work for someone trained in the sciences. Of course, as one enters college as a physics major, that’s all anyone ever says, “You can do anything with a degree in physics!” Well, I would like to say that you really can. Physics taught me how to think, how to learn, how to approach a problem and think of creative ways to solve it. These very skills have been indispensable to me this last month as I started work in a completely new field to me: website analytics. When asked what I do, I like to say that my job is where marketing meets science – we use the scientific method to determine how to better market our product.
So, what does this have to do with astronomy? Absolutely nothing. And that is okay with me. I’m still keeping astronomy as a hobby, and I would like to continue blogging about cool spacey things, but the tech industry is what will enable me to bring home the bacon.
Life can be so much happier when you let yourself think outside the box, color outside the lines, unpack those boxes even if you’re just going to pack them back up in a few months, take the little scenic detour on the road to your dream. Try doing something practical if you’ve had your head in the stars for years, or try doing something imaginative and impractical if you’ve had your nose to the grindstone for years.
You never know what you might discover about yourself.